Evolving Upskilling, Reskilling, and Cross-Skilling Initiatives with Skill Insights

Transformation is common practice within any organization. We adopt new processes, implement new technologies, and the needs for certain skills change and evolve over time. The notion of upskilling, reskilling and cross skilling isn’t something new, but with the added dimension of skill data and insights, you can uncover amazing results.

Ikea is just one example of a forward-thinking skills-centric organization who was able to boost sales by a staggering $1.4bn by upskilling 8500 customer call center representatives. They saw a demand from incoming inquiries, a gap in their ability to meet those demands by putting the right skilled people in the right conversation – so they worked to close that skill gap through interventions.

Your initiatives don’t always have to be tied directly to sales revenue either. Many Skills Base customers rely on skill insights to support their training initiatives to manage risk, retain employees and encourage personal development.

This article is aimed to help you understand the core principles of Upskilling, Reskilling, and Cross-Skilling and how you can leverage the added dimension of skill insights.

Defining Upskilling, Reskilling, and Cross-Skilling

Upskilling, reskilling, and cross-skilling are three key approaches to workforce development, each designed to fill specific gaps in an organization’s capabilities.

  • Upskilling involves taking existing staff and developing their skills further, so they are better equipped to meet new challenges. It typically involves training around new technology, trends, or standards and can help a workforce become more effective by enhancing critical competencies.
  • Reskilling involves the process of teaching employees entirely new skills, aligning them with new positions or mandates. It may involve significant shifts in the employees’ abilities but can help an organization bridge its skills gaps when the current workforce is lacking.
  • Cross-skilling involves training existing staff in skills outside their current areas of expertise, so they can take on multiple roles that complement each other. This can result in a more flexible workforce and an improved ability to handle unexpected situations.

Understanding the added dimension of skill insights

Many organizations are currently embarking on the journey to become skills based. This transformation isn’t just about having a list of skills in a spreadsheet, it’s about using skill insights as a pivotal part of organizational decisions and its DNA. This added element allows managers to become a lot more specific with their training initiatives – that is a win for the organization, and the employee.

  • If someone has a skill gap, what training is available?
  • If skill levels haven’t changed since training, do I need to review the course material and am I getting an ROI?
  • Are there opportunities for highly skilled employees to coach and mentor others?

Just like your Learning Mangement System, HR system and Project Management System, it’s Skills Management that will unleash the skills data, and give you more confidence in upskilling, reskilling and cross skilling initiatives.

Skills Centric Upskilling: Delivering greater performance

Skill-centric upskilling plays a pivotal role in enhancing performance by aligning training closely with both present and future employee needs. This method ensures training is both relevant and efficient, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and career advancement. By identifying skill gaps, organizations can tailor training to fill the disparity between an employee’s current abilities and their role’s demands. This precision in training ensures relevance and focus.

Moreover, by utilizing data, companies can create personalized learning paths that meet the individual needs and learning speeds of each employee, boosting their current role performance. Skill insights-driven training allows for the immediate application of new knowledge, enhancing productivity and job satisfaction instantly.

Looking towards the future, these insights help align upskilling with long-term career objectives, ensuring employees develop necessary skills for future positions. They also allow organizations to anticipate industry trends, preparing their workforce for the evolving market and maintaining competitive relevance. Upskilling with future roles in mind encourages internal mobility and reduces talent turnover by equipping employees with skills for advancement.

Ultimately, skill insights elevate upskilling from mere training to a strategic tool for immediate performance enhancement and future growth. This approach not only unlocks each employee’s potential but also syncs individual goals with the organization’s vision, creating a dynamic workforce poised for ongoing success.

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Skills Centric Reskilling: Mobilize from Within

Digital transformation has been a significant driver for internal reskilling initiatives. It’s well documented that it’s more efficient and cost effective than recruitment. Leveraging skill insights for internal talent mobilization presents a cost-effective and strategic alternative to external recruitment, which can be expensive and uncertain. Skill insights enable organizations to precisely identify and match the existing skills of employees with the needs of new roles, tapping into a valuable resource that already understands the company culture and operational dynamics.

The utilization of skill insights for talent mobilization highlights several advantages.

  • Firstly, it ensures a precise skill match, directly aligning employees’ capabilities with role requirements.
  • Secondly, it capitalizes on the employees’ domain expertise, which is crucial for roles that require in-depth knowledge of the company.
  • Lastly, it recognizes the value of on-the-job learning, promoting the use of unique competencies developed within the organization.

Implementing skill insights allows companies to make informed decisions about reskilling efforts, aligning workforce development with strategic objectives. This proactive approach identifies skill gaps and directs the creation of targeted internal training programs, ensuring the organization remains agile.

See how Skills Base customers build agile teams through multiple roles. Schedule a meeting today.

Skills Centric Cross-Skilling: Embracing the Career Lattice

The traditional linear career path is increasingly becoming a relic of the past as employees seek more dynamic, flexible career trajectories that reflect their diverse interests, skills, and life phases.

Cross-skilling, underpinned by a deep understanding of available skill sets within the organization, allows employees to move laterally, vertically, or diagonally, enriching their professional experience and enhancing their value to the company. This approach not only diversifies employees’ skill portfolios but also addresses the organization’s evolving needs, ensuring a versatile and resilient workforce.

The career lattice model, facilitated by skill insights, offers employees a broader spectrum of career development opportunities, encouraging continuous learning and adaptation. This flexibility supports employees’ aspirations for growth in various dimensions, not limited to upward mobility but including the exploration of new domains, functions, or projects.

Organizations that embrace this model foster a culture of internal mobility, where employees are motivated to develop new competencies and apply them in different contexts within the company. This not only enhances job satisfaction and retention but also ensures the organization can swiftly adapt to market changes and internal demands.

Help your employees navigate their own path with Career Mobility Insights — See it in action. 

Evolution through skills management

Effective skills management processes as part of upskilling, reskilling, and cross-skilling initiatives, are crucial to the success of a skills-centric approach. By using Skills Management Software like Skills Base, organizations can track the development of core skills, reskill and upskill their workforce, and promote cross-functional collaboration that benefits the entire organization.

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